There have been a few things lately that have made me annoyed- two issues that it seems just about everyone jumped all over. I'm not mad because I'm on one side or the other and I'm going to attempt to keep my opinions on both issues out of this blog post. What annoys me is how people react to these issues.
So a while back everyone on Facebook jumped on the Kony bandwagon spreading a youtube video that went viral almost instantly. I understand that it sucks. Here's what bothers me. Spreading awareness of Kony here in the U.S. doesn't actually do shit for the people in Africa. Joseph Kony is still alive... I'm pretty sure. Let me go check google.Yup... he's still alive. The video has been viewed over 91 million times as of June. The problem I have isn't that everyone wants him stopped. I think deep down that everyone feels that spreading the video around on their Facebook is actually doing something to stop him. It isn't. You don't need to feel like you did something amazing by informing other people about Kony. I also don't think everyone is very informed about this issue since many people I've talked to have heard of Kony but have no idea who the hell he is. What bothers me most is something I saw recently while driving. Above the highway here in Utah, people like to take plastic cups and put them in the fences to spell out things. It usually says stupid bullshit like "Happy Birthday Rodrigo" or "Welcome Home Elder ______." Stuff that you should just say in person and not with cups. There was a day where I was on my way to class when I saw "KONY 2012 :)" spelled out in cups. Why is there a smiley face after that? Did the cup writer even know what the crap they were doing? If they ever catch Kony, I think lots of people will feel deep down that they somehow helped. You didn't. I'm betting the Africans will eventually take him down themselves and the fact that you were "aware" of him didn't do anything to help the situation. (It also has come to my attention that some people were actually trying to gain a massive following to provoke the U.N. or a group of countries to move in and help. While that sounds noble, I don't think that was the intention of very many compared to how many people linked to the Kony video.)
The owner of Chick Filet came out against homosexuality. I don't want to get into how far he went or whether he was right or wrong. What I want to talk about is how dumb everyone sounds when they react to this in certain ways. I want to reiterate that doing some small, stupid action does not mean you contributed to a cause. There was a massive wave of people who flocked to Chick Filet to order chicken sandwiches. The only cause you supported when you did that is American obesity. Eating a chicken sandwich doesn't take away the rights of a homosexual. Eating a chicken sandwich doesn't do much of anything except make you fatter and make Chick Filet richer. Chick Filet does not use the proceeds from your chicken sandwich to hunt down and kill gay people. That's what the proceeds from the milkshakes are for... just kidding. You think you took a stand that day when you waved your chicken sandwich in the air and said, "I don't like gay people or support their right to get married." You didn't. If you want to accurately announce your cause... you should have waved your chicken sandwich in the air and declared, "After this meal, I will weigh 2.7 pounds more than I did when I got here... unless I have a massive bowel movement some time in the near future." On the opposite side, there was a story I heard in the news about a guy going through the drive through, ordering a water, and then yelling at the guy at the window about his company's stance. Buddy- you didn't do anything either. The guy in the drive-through window is a barely above minimum-wage employee of Chick Filet. You have no idea what his views are. Assuming he thinks the exact same way as his company's CEO is ridiculous, ignorant, and stupid.
CONCLUSION: DO SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT
There's a lot of people nowadays who think they deserve praise and to be told how awesome they are any time they do anything. Guess what? You may not do something every day that is praiseworthy. I may feel better on occasion saying that my day at work was hard or that studying for the LSATs takes up time, but I don't need anyone to tell me how awesome I am every day. Have some self-confidence. Here are a few things I expected some minimal amount of praise for over the past year:
-getting my bachelor's degree
-publishing 9 history articles / short stories on the Kindle and other platforms
-getting even better at fixing computers and home theater systems
-staying debt free (I haven't paid interest on a credit card. Ever. I'm 26. I also paid cash for my car and home theater system. The only thing I've ever paid interest on in my life is my house)
That's about it. Sorry if it kind of sounded like bragging. Actually the last two were just ongoing accomplishments and I don't really need to be praised for them. I'm just proud of myself for keeping them going. You'll notice I didn't include all the times I ate a chicken sandwich or put cups in a fence. I work hard for things that I think deserve praise. Here's the kicker: I don't do things to get praised or get a pat on the back at all. I'm going to go to law school because I want to. I got my history degree because it helped me move toward my law degree. I've been writing on the side for over a year now in my free time to eventually bring in a decent side income. I didn't do any of it so that I could be told how wonderful I am. That's what really bothers me. Someone has a hard day at work? They leave a vague, sad comment on their Facebook wall and then need twenty comments on Facebook telling them how awesome they are. Someone went to the gym that morning? Announce it to everyone... of course they need to know how much better you are than them. Why don't you go ahead and make some goals instead? Work hard towards accomplishing them. It's fine to ask for support, but you don't need to get praised every day that you work toward accomplishing something big. Do you think I got a "you're the bomb" speech every time I went to class or work? I think that pretty much makes my point so I'll go ahead and end this rant here. Here's my final point: Do something worthy of the praise you think you deserve. If you're already working towards some big goals in life, I salute you.